By Quentin Choy
March 13, 2021
A record 3,200 migrant children are being detained at the Southern Border under the Biden Administration.
21st Century American presidents have all had bad records when it comes to the issue of immigration. Bush’s creation of ICE and deportations. High levels of deportation under Obama and Trump. Trump’s ICE raids and chants to “build the wall.” Now, Biden joins that group of immigration hawks and follows the same path as his predecessor, Donald Trump by placing a record number of unaccompanied migrant children in facilities.
While Democrats and leftists including myself criticized Donald Trump for his immigration policies, that same standard must be used when assessing Biden. If we are to truly have moral standards and be truly principled, Biden must be criticized for his complicit role in awful policies that seemingly transcend the two-party system.
Many on the left are not surprised by this move by Biden since his time as VP under Obama saw high levels of deportation. Biden’s traditional style of governing was an indication to many that nothing would change in regard to immigration under him.
While immigration is one of the most controversial political issues, much of U.S. policy regarding immigration has been the same. Republicans seem to be anti-immigrant, but if Democrats have the same policies, are they not the same?
It is critical to examine the causes for migration to the U.S., but it is far more important to look at why so many unaccompanied children are arriving at the Southern Border. Violence from drug cartels in Mexico and Central America causes fear to grow among ordinary citizens. Regions in these states are often unlivable with the high amounts of violence and murder. Governments in these states have a difficult time battling the cartels, and oftentimes, the cartels are stronger than the state in certain regions, where they provide the citizenry with necessities that the state fails to provide.
A history of U.S. intervention in the region has weakened their state and has prevented crucial reform in terms of economics, industrialization, and infrastructure. These weak states are now dealing with the cartels whose power essentially characterizes them as parallel states to the government, comparable in power and influence.
With this type of environment, many parents in Central America and Mexico are willing to save money and send their children alone toward the U.S. in hopes that they can have a better life while escaping terrible violence. The desperation of these parents who are willing to send unaccompanied children thousands of miles north is a testament to how dire the humanitarian situation is in the region.
The U.S. must end the War on Drugs in the region and should legalize and regulate drugs to reduce the power and financial backing of the cartels who operate on the black market. The U.S. must also end its history of intervention in the region and assist Latin America in growing on its own. Lastly, the U.S. must implement something similar to the Marshall Plan in the region to minimize the desire of people wanting to leave their country for America and transforming their nations into peaceful, livable, self-determining nations.
Americans, especially those nominally on the American left must hold Biden to the same standard on immigration as they did with Donald Trump. To be politically consistent is to be principled, and principled citizens is the first step toward the death of partisan politics, one of the most obtrusive barriers to a government which represents the commoners.